Kolkata East-West Metro’s Howrah-bound tunnel complete

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KOLKATA: A critical part of the East-West Metro’s construction was completed on Friday with one of the two tunnels connecting Howrah to Salt Lake via Kolkata under the Hooghly river finished as the boring machine reached Sealdah, an official said.

TBM Urvi reached Sealdah completing the Howrah-bound tunnel that is being constructed as part of the 16.6 km-long rapid transport project between Howrah Maidan and Sector V in Salt Lake, the official said.

He said 10.8 km of the total project is underground, while the rest 5.8 km is elevated.

Urvi broke open a metre-wide concrete barrier at Sealdah in the afternoon amid cheers from engineers and workmen engaged for the tunneling.

Urvi will now be turned around to finsh the work of the other tunnel, which is incomplete at Bowbazar as the machine boring it met with an accident in August last year, the KMRC official said.

The work for the other tunnel is likely to start in mid-January, he said.

The tunneling work was put on hold after TBM Chundee hit an aquifer on August 31 last year, leading to severe ground subsidence and collapse of buildings at Bowbazar in central Kolkata.

With TBM (tunnel boring machine) Chundee getting damaged beyond repair in the accident, the work is being completed with Urvi.

Construction activities for the tunnel began in February but had to be stalled again in March due to the lockdown. It restarted again after the relaxations were announced.

Prior to the accident, the two TBMs were working parallel, boring tunnels for the up and down lines of the East-West Metro corridor.

Source: Press Trust of India